Every Family Needs A Norm

May 15th, 2013


To dearest Norm, with love.

Norm all dressed up for something…

One man practicing kindness in the wilderness is worth all the temples this world pulls.” 
 Jack KerouacThe Dharma Bums
“Every family needs a Norm”  Eric Blumberg
Norm is my older brother, but I’m fiercely protective of him. That’s just the way it is.  As very small children, he was, according to my mother, very protective of me, so perhaps I’m just paying it back.  So, there you have it.  If you mess with Norm, you’ll answer to me. 🙂

His kindness is almost pristine.  His humor is legendary.  His generosity is enormous, and much of the time, it’s quiet.  His humble ways sometimes fool people, but underestimate him at your own peril, because his mind and his memory are razor sharp.  He can be trusting, sometimes to a fault, like I am.   He loves music, he loves art, he loves to fly from place to place, (unlike me), he’s way more physically fit than most people, he gathers beautiful things, and he gives beautiful things back.  He’s a stellar friend, a great dad, a loving brother, and an irreplaceable human being.

My husband Eric, who as a former journalist, is a pretty decent judge of character,  said an interesting thing to me one night after I’d hung up from a conversation with Norm and said something like “Oh, Norm…he’s just so sweet”.  He said, “Every family needs a Norm”.  They do, and every world needs a Norm too.  We’re glad he’s here.

For his birthday, I’m gathering good thoughts from friends, acquaintances, and colleagues to give to him at his birthday dinner this week.  Please leave a wish for Norm in the comments and tell him that you’re glad he’s here too.  🙂


26 Comments on “Every Family Needs A Norm”

  1. cindy said at 2:02 am on May 15th, 2013:

    Happy Birthday,dear Norm. We love you!

  2. Debby Tucker said at 2:18 am on May 15th, 2013:

    Dear Norm,
    What a remarkable tribute from your sweet sister. I have come to adore her and trust in her judgments of others so you must indeed be all that she’s shared. Happy Birthday to a man who’s kind, loving, fiercely protective and dearly loved! Best wishes, Debby

  3. Jacquie Nanfito said at 2:24 am on May 15th, 2013:

    It is my pleasure to extend birthday wishes to Norm this year and every year. We have just passed our 15th year of working together and quite honestly every year gets easier for me (maybe not him, ha!) I can only hope we remain friends and colleagues for many more. Norm, happy birthday and continue to enjoy all of life’s special moments! You deserve much love and happiness!


  4. cindy said at 2:25 am on May 15th, 2013:

    Thank you Debby!

  5. Kristine Elkjer said at 2:35 am on May 15th, 2013:

    Norm- I have only just met you this year and I am honoured. U r a special soul with a kind heart and it shines in your smile! may your day bring u blessings -the kind that touch u forever!!! Happy Birthday

  6. cindy said at 2:39 am on May 15th, 2013:

    From Dave Curry….
    Norm, Matt and I went to Jackson Hole,WY for a fly fishing trip years back.
    Norm wanted to hike, so we took the tram up the hill and walked down. While walking down, Matt and I saw Norm run ahead of us as fast as he could run.
    I have never seen Norm bolt and run, ever.
    He just pointing back to us as he ran full speed.
    He saw the black bear on the tree, next to the trail, before we did. Norm just took off, leaving us staring at the black bear so close you could smell him, in the tree, 30 feet away!
    Quite a sight. We just carefully walked away from the tree and the bear.

    David Curry

  7. Lee Kurtz said at 2:44 am on May 15th, 2013:

    Happy Birthday Norm! You’re was one of the best broadcast companies that I had the pleasure to work for. I believe it was because of your heart and great business sense. I hope you have a great day!

    Lee Kurtz

  8. John Schuele said at 2:52 am on May 15th, 2013:

    Never met, and never will, a man with so much heart and the ability to give so much. Someone who loves to watch others succeed more than his own success. So many of our partners everyday tell me what a great partner they have in Norm Waitt.
    It seems like yesterday we were in S.C. talking about your 49th and my 39th birthday. That must mean its been a fun and busy ride of great experiences both personally and professionally.
    All i can say is thank you thank you thank you and I have been lucky to work for you and to also be considered a friend.
    Everyone does need a Norm!
    John S.

  9. Kimberly said at 2:57 am on May 15th, 2013:

    Happy Birthday!

  10. Diane Swanson Cassel said at 4:51 am on May 15th, 2013:

    What great memories I have of our school days. You were always kind to all and all wanted to be in your company! Thank you for always being there for your friends.

  11. Marcia said at 5:35 am on May 15th, 2013:

    How does anyone describe Norm? Well since I’ve been around him pretty much since birth, I feel that I know the guy pretty well. If you read this Norm, I hope I am your sister buddy, friend, and pal and our connection has grown over the years. All I can say is, “You have made my crazy life possible!!” You are always there for us and for everyone for that matter. You are sweet, generous, thoughtful, smart, very smart and above all, a kind man.

    Cheers, Happy Birthday, and I hope to see you soon. And for those of you that want Norm to be a part of your family….

    So sorry…he’s taken.

  12. cindy said at 5:52 am on May 15th, 2013:

    From Lee Lysne….
    I would have to say that knowing and working with Norm these past 14 years has been one of the greatest gifts in my life so far. Not only is he kind, funny, smart, incredibly modest and wickedly funny (love that sense of black humor) he is also one of the fairest and most generous people I have ever met. In the coming year I hope for Norm all the best that life has to offer in terms of love, health and happiness. There‘s a quote I really like that I often think of on special days like this:

    “ Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift which is why we call it the present.”

    So here’s to the present and hopefully all the wonderful tomorrows to come…

    Happy birthday to the man who has everything (and is both smart and grateful enough to appreciate it.)

    Wishing you the best year ever!


  13. Arlene Curry said at 8:48 am on May 15th, 2013:


    Happy Birthday from the singing Hollywood chipmunks to a man who is proof you can “make it anywhere”

    While we may not have a “Norm” in our family, we have been blessed to have this Norm in our lives. Looking forward to more great times in the coming year with you! Arlene

  14. Ira Lebowitz said at 9:38 am on May 15th, 2013:

    Happy Birthday Norm.

  15. Ginny Solis said at 12:28 pm on May 15th, 2013:

    Hope you have had a fabulous Birthday. My wish for you upon this year is a year filled with love, laughter and peace. I am so glad I have had the chance to visit with you periodically over the last few years. You have been good about reaching out to my sisters and I. I am so grateful my dad had such a great relationship with you his last few years.

    Looking forward to a Waitt cousin reunion and I think I will have to take the lead on this one in the next few months!

    Much love,


  16. Eric Blumberg said at 6:50 pm on May 15th, 2013:

    Dear Norm — Wishing you the best from your favorite brother-in-law. Rush.

  17. anna and thomas stillmaker said at 7:51 pm on May 15th, 2013:

    Dearest Norm It’s been 15 years or so since we met. Instantly a conversation about Fripp began and it hasn’t quit yet. You were wearing a bright coloured jumper I think jane barnes maybe. The concerts the events the 2word e-mails the deep interest and caring for others the beneficence and understanding of others needs, the laughter, the kindness, the honesty, the spontaneity, the humility. We could go on suffice to say you are amazing and we love you. Happy Birthday Norm, enjoy the day, and Thomas will enjoy his. For those who didn’t know Thomas was born about 5 hours after Norm. Love always, Anna and Thomas xxxooo.

  18. Kevin Engel-Cartie said at 10:56 pm on May 15th, 2013:

    We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give. ~Winston Churchill

    Norm you are truly an example of the absolute best in community-minded people who give from their heart. Your support of the Y makes a difference in Siouxland each and every day. Most meaningful for me is that you just do it to help others – no other reason. We can all learn from that.

    Happy Birthday! I hope it is terrific and just one of many, many more terrific birthdays to come.


  19. Wendy said at 11:55 pm on May 15th, 2013:

    Happy Birthday to my best friend. Sorry not to share this day with you but I know you will be surrounded with love, laughter , friends and family.
    Favorite things about Norm:
    1.Laughing with you, your laughter comes often and from the gut. You bring much mirth and joy to all
    2. Your myriad ways of looking at the world(, the prism has many hues)
    3.the way you understand math, physics, logic and reason
    4. Those beautiful blues eyes
    5. Our connection on a deep level( Esalen , children , nature)
    6. Your generosity to the underdogs in all walks of life. Your contribution to the arts, education, science…
    7. You look on the positive side almost all the time, give people much leeway but always
    Step up and stand your ground i
    8. The way you love Sam and Rachel and your family, with an open heart and acceptance for who they are not for what you want them to be
    9. That gentle side I met in class, the quiet, intellectual, analytical side
    10. Your unique and brilliant mind
    11. Your affection and cuddling watching science and nature. You love the natural world , the micro and macro universe. The way you manage to reconcile science and spirituality
    12. The fierce and enthusiastic love of music, art, some movies….( hehehehe )
    13. Your cruel and evill bed frame( inside joke you guys, not r or x rated)
    14.the way you handled the hospital, your never complaining about pain, your smiling and laughing thru adverse conditions
    15. Norm, I admire your willingness to reach out when you need help, love, affection
    It’s stood you in good stead
    I love you on so many levels and will always be there for you no matter what external conditions might apply. You have brought so much joy and laughter to our lives, !
    we know each other, Really on the deepest most vulnerable level . When you love someone because of idiosyncrasies and not in spite of…. That’s pretty unusual.
    So my dearest sweet handsome Norm, sending you a enormous hug and kiss filled with
    Happiness and joy on this day. Your day

  20. cindy said at 12:58 am on May 16th, 2013:

    From Rachel Crane


    You are truly the father I never had. I can’t express how much your love and support means to me. Thank you for bringing so much joy into my life. Sending you all my love on your birthday. Love you with all my heart. xoxo Rachel

  21. Steve Avery said at 1:00 am on May 16th, 2013:

    To be a kid in the late 60’s and survive it is something most people under-appreciate. Yeah, its was Woodstock. But, it was mostly Vietnam, political assassinations and Kent State. The only thing we knew is that the grown-ups were fucking up the whole world. This is what you should know to understand Norm. He came from crazy with a smile on his face.

    Happy Birthday, Norm. Jeanne and I love you. Our boys love you. Keep smilin’.


  22. michele said at 2:33 am on May 16th, 2013:

    first i must tell cindy that i really love what she did here.. i think all of this attention and love should bolster and prepare you for your birthday next year !!! (getting ready) ..and all compliments and love well deserved indeed! i have never met anyone else like you, -the mold has been broken, and i so appreciate this fact! one of my favorite memories is of you and i alone on a small sailboat skimming along and your eyes blending with the blue sky and water. thank goodness i could do this on here because i never know where to send your card so that it will be on time for your birhday!-happy birthday sweet norm!

  23. Jeremy said at 4:05 am on May 16th, 2013:

    Happy Birthday! Well said, Cindy.

  24. Stef Philipp said at 5:42 am on May 16th, 2013:

    Curious as I am I followed the link of your sister on facebook..
    Since I am half a world away and my English is insane I can only agree that every world needs a Norm, dear Norm!

    Happy Birthday-hope you have a wild one!!!
    Best wishes and love and peace and no norm but Norm around the world :DDD

  25. Stefanie said at 3:27 pm on May 16th, 2013:

    Curios as I am I followed the link of your sister on FB…
    Although I am half a world away and my English is insane
    I wanna let you know that it is great to share thoughts and music with you!
    Best wishes and love and peace and a world with no norm but Norm!!! :)))


  26. Ranjani & Gabriel said at 8:11 pm on May 16th, 2013:

    Happy Birthday Norm!!! You are such a truly loving and generous person. We are so glad we’ve gotten to know you. Big hugs, love and joy from us!

    Ranjani & Gabriel Prieto

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